Prep time | 45 minutes
Cooking time | 4-5 hours
• Lasagne | I believe this recipe is at least partially responsible for my husband, Mick, asking me to marry him. He had told me that lasagne was his favourite dish, and so I made it my mission to create one that he would love. It’s not from any authentic recipe, it’s just how we like it at our place. Fresh homemade pasta or dried pasta can both be used. The Bolognese sauce can be made in advance.
• 1 tsp olive oil|
• 2 brown onions
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 kg beef mince
• 2 x 810g tins crushed tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 50g butter
• 50g flour
• 3 ½ cups (875 ml) milk
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 200g tasty cheese, grated
• salt and pepper
• 1 quantity fresh pasta dough rolled out into lasagne sheets – or
• 1 500g packet instant lasagne sheets
• 250g grated tasty cheese
1. In a large non-stick chef’s pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add garlic and onion and stir until soft but not brown. Add mince to the pan and brown. Using a wooden spoon, make sure you get rid of any lumps in the mince.
2. If you have a slow cooker, put the mince in along with the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Simmer covered on the high setting for 2 hours, then uncover and cook for a further 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
3. The sauce initially appears quite runny and not a very rich colour. As it cooks and reduces, it achieves a thick consistency and a beautiful red colour. You will know when it’s ready – it becomes very aromatic.
4. To do the recipe on the stove top is equally effective but you need to be a lot more vigilant to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pot. Keep it over a very low heat uncovered, and stir it frequently for around 2 hours.
1. In a large pot, melt butter and add flour over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it gathers into a dough.
2. Continue to stir for another minute or so. This begins to cook the flour.
3. Add a little milk – about ¼ cup. This will incorporate fairly quickly into the dough and will once again come away from the sides of the pan. Once this happens you can add another ¼ cup milk and repeat until all the milk has been added.
4. Stir in mustard, then add cheese and stir until it melts.
5. Taste, and season with salt and pepper if required.
1. Preheat oven to 180°
2. Ladle Bolognese sauce over the base of a large oblong casserole dish. There needs to be enough to cover the base but keep it a thin layer (about 5mm). Over this, lay some fresh or dried lasagne sheets.
3. Ladle more Bolognese sauce over the pasta then ladle cheese sauce on top of that. Carefully spread the cheese sauce to cover the meat.
4. Scatter a small handful of tasty cheese over this.
5. Place another layer of pasta on top and repeat the Bolognese and cheese sauces, and scatter another handful of cheese.
6. Place another layer of pasta, then ladle remaining cheese sauce over the top. Generously cover this with the rest of the cheese.
7. Bake for 45 minutes covered with foil, and a further 15 minutes uncovered or until golden brown and bubbling on top. If using dried pasta sheets, insert a skewer at several points to ensure the pasta has cooked through.
Serve with parmesan cheese, a beautiful fresh green salad and garlic bread.
Note: This reheats beautifully and is one of the few pasta dishes that freezes and defrosts well.